The Book is Published!

A Story of Friendship and Food

Cooking with Adrienne is a cookbook and the true story of a woman who became the American doyenne of French cuisine during the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties.  She honed her palate on the food coming out of the kitchens of Alain Chapel, Frédy Girardet, Michel Guérard, Jean and Pierre Troisgros, Roger Verge and others who were creating the New French Cuisine.  Adrienne began cooking in Paris with Simone Beck, co-author, with Julia Child, of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She became an accomplished cook and helped to pave the way for many of these chefs to bring the New Cuisine to America.

I began travelling, eating and cooking with Adrienne and her husband more than 25 years ago.  Just as Adrienne taught me to cook, I wanted to share with you Adrienne’s favorite recipes from some of the greatest chefs of the twentieth century, as well as her own original dishes, carefully explained with the French terms and fancy kitchen jargon laid bare.  Alongside the recipes are the equally delicious stories from Adrienne’s culinary travels: the month she spent cooking under the direction of three-star chef Jean Troisgros when he was a guest in their house in Mougin; She and her husband were the first Americans to visit Alain Chapel’s restaurant in Mionnay; sitting next to Julia Child and her husband in Michel Guérard’s Paris restaurant, Pot au Feu, and many, many more.

The mysteries of making a sauce are revealed, from a simple jus to beurre blanc and hollandaise, as well as the basics of stock and vinaigrette. The recipes run the gamut from Raymond Thuilier’s Gratin Dauphinoise, Auberge de Noves’ Caneton en Papillotte, Adrienne’s own Pigeonneaux aux Morilles, Frédy Girardet’s Passion Fruit Soufflé to the simpler, but no less delicious, Tomate Provençal, Pasta with Pesto and Scallops, Lemon Chicken and Potatoes, and Moussaka. They all reflect Adrienne’s belief that all food is good food if prepared properly

When Adrienne developed a rare form of dementia – Primary Progressive Aphasia – which robbed her of the ability to cook, speak or write, I began gathering together all of Adrienne’s recipes and stories.  The result is this book which I hope captures the camaraderie between two unlikely friends, united in their love of cooking and eating the best food possible. 


I am donating a portion of the proceeds from the book to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) to find a cure for PPA.  You can help me support The AFTD by making your own donation in Adrienne’s name. The process is fast, easy, and secure. I truly appreciate any support you can provide. It will benefit a great cause!

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6 Replies to “The Book is Published!

  1. Dear Friends,

    Let’s remember the good memories and the tasteful kitchen we have all created and experienced during these years. It has always been a great pleasure to satisfy customers who became our true friends.

    Both of you have always been the perfect image of the culinary culture you brought to America and we really admire you! Your book pays tribute to Adrienne’s passion and amazing personality.

    Martin and Adrienne, may the friendship of all the great Chefs be a way of comforting one other during this period in your lives.

    With all our love.
    Pierre & Marie-Thérèse Wynants
    Comme Chez Soi

    1. Many thanks for you kind and gracious comments. Your friendship is treasured by Martin, Adrienne and myself. The welcome and hospitality of Comme Chez Soi comes from your hearts.

  2. This book is marvelous and a refreshing addition to my kitchen library! I am looking forward to experimenting with the recipes as I have always been a bit shy about “cooking French”. This book is giving me the power to rise up and be confident in the kitchen! Thank you, Joan, for writing and pouring your heart and soul into such a beautiful book. Praise to you and Adrienne for all of the wonderful memories you have captured in this precious book.

    1. Thank you Mary! So glad that you are finding your joie de vivre in the kitchen no matter what cuisine you are cooking. Be sure and send me any questions you might have as you are cooking the book!


  3. This is a book about food but it is inspired by love. The love of one human being for another and the love of two human beings for the very best food. Joan Harper has written this book from her heart and as a tribute to her close friend and confidant, and her regular cooking companion. Adrienne’s gradual decline into a most debilitating and rare form of dementia was the trigger for Joan to realise that Adrienne’s life’s work would be lost if she did not record her recipes and hundreds of pages of notes. Joan set about the herculean task of collating and indexing all the material she could find. In addition she was lucky enough to have many personal memories of lunches and dinners prepared by the greatest of chefs in their famous restaurants.

    In celebration Joan has set out a wealth of unique recipes that Adrienne learned from her friends the chefs but above all the book embodies an attitude to food. ‘ Only the best will do’ … If you take the trouble to follow these recipes you will prepare some great dishes and realise what pleasure and satisfaction can be derived from doing it right and achieving a result you never believed possible.

  4. How good to find a beautifully written, beautifully illustrated cookbook about classic French food without pretension or gimmickry. Delicious to read, look at, cook from. Prue Leith.

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